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Under the weather (1/3)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (slash, swearing)

A sequel to David, which was about Mycroft's first marriage. Also heavily influenced by Fengirl's Quiet Storm (although the thunderstorm has been relocated in time) and Blooms84's Some Things He Doesn't Need to Know. Betaed by Blooms84.

Summary: It isn't easy being married to Mycroft Holmes, as Lestrade is finding out...
Part 2
 


 

 

Perhaps it was inevitable that if you were in a relationship with a man who largely controlled the British government, you needed to keep a lot of secrets. But when Lestrade had first got seriously involved with Mycroft Holmes – as in having rather a lot of sex with him – he soon realised it was often better to stick to Don't Ask, Don't Tell about their previous lives. They had a surprising amount in common nowadays – it turned out that crooks and idiots were much the same whether they were running nightclubs in Streatham or nuclear-armed states – but the further back you went, the more you realised that they came from different worlds. It would no more have occurred to the thirteen year-old Lestrade that learning Ancient Greek was fun, than it would have occurred to the sixteen-year old Mycroft to run away and join the circus. When Mycroft had been at Oxford and carefully planning his ascent to the top, Lestrade had been happily and thoughtlessly engaged in a race to the bottom.  And Mycroft had probably already been running half the country by the time Lestrade finally got his act together and applied to join the CID.

In fact, he and Mycroft had such entirely different experiences of the Eighties, that Lestrade wondered if they'd been living in the same country. All that stuff about Britain being two nations was true of course - especially under Thatcher - and it had applied to the gay world as well. But unlike a lot of the other posh boys Lestrade had met then, Mycroft hadn't been slumming it, copping off with the plebs. He'd been in some high-minded, intense romance with another boy at Oxford, which had all ended tragically, when the poor sod had been killed, aged twenty-three. Lestrade knew just enough about David Holmes by now to know not to ask more. Definitely dangerous territory.

It didn't matter about their pasts, Lestrade had decided, as long as they could keep the future on track. He'd been sure pretty early on that Mycroft hadn't got involved with him in some peculiar midlife crisis. Mycroft took the thing seriously – Mycroft took everything too seriously – and Lestrade was determined he wasn't going to be the one to wreck a relationship this time. And if part of keeping Mycroft happy was downplaying the more lurid bits of Lestrade's old life  – or at least avoiding reminiscing fondly about previous partners - that was manageable. It wasn't as if there was that much to report for the last decade or so, anyhow, and the few of his old friends who he was still in regular contact with were all now equally boring and respectable. Though to be on the safe side, he'd tried to ensure Mycroft never met the few less presentable ex-lovers of his who were still alive and living in London.

Except one, of course. The most alive and the most London-based of all the men he'd ever slept with, and probably Lestrade's single biggest ever mistake – and he's made some bad calls over the years. But nothing as stupid as his involvement with Sherlock. His relationship with Mycroft would have been over even before it began, if Mycroft had known about Lestrade sleeping with Sherlock.  Good job he'd dodged the bullet with that one, that somehow none of Mycroft's spooks had caught that reckless night on tape.

Over the months he'd been involved with Mycroft he'd gradually started to relax, realised that no-one but he and Sherlock knew. He'd still panicked occasionally that Sherlock was going to spill the beans at some climactic moment. Literally had nightmares before his wedding that Sherlock might choose then to reveal all, but he'd evidently misjudged him. Sherlock, whatever his long list of other failings, could keep quiet about some things, and he was keeping his mouth shut on this one. No evidence against Lestrade, so he was going to get away with it. Unreported crimes didn't show up in the statistics.

And then of course, halfway through the long hot summer, Fate decided to kick him in the balls yet again. And via that deadliest of mechanisms, a vindictive little old lady.

***

"I don't believe it!" Lestrade announced, and didn't care if it made him sound like Victor Meldrew. "Someone's trying to get me given an ASBO? It's not for swearing, is it? Because if so they can fuck off!"

"No," said Sergeant Humphries calmly – she was a good sort, was Humphries. "The complainant, Mrs Rose Meadows, is alleging that you bring young men back to your flat at all hours of the night, and that this immoral behaviour is causing her alarm and distress."

"I'm not even living there most of the time any more. I'm mainly in Dulwich, half moved out of the flat."

"Mrs Meadows states that at the times when you are there, there is a string of young men coming round."

"Mrs Meadows," Lestrade replied, trying not to grind his teeth, because his dentist didn't like it, "is an interfering old so-and-so, who has it in for me ever since I proved that she was wrong about Asher Mendez stealing her purse, and that she'd just left it in her other handbag."

"Yes, but she has detailed records and photos of a number of men coming and going at your flat at peculiar times." Humphreys said. She began to lay out the evidence on the table in the interview room, as if this was an actual case. At least there wasn't a tape going yet, thought Lestrade; this was still the informal chat bit.

"God, who let someone like her loose with a zoom lens?" he retorted.  "Anyhow, there are squatters five doors down from me, and at the end of the street there's a bloke with a massive sound system and a terrible taste in dubstep. Why's she picking on me?"

"Are you saying that her information is inaccurate?"

"No, but I'm saying it's not what it seems. The blokes who keep on turning up on my doorstep are almost all my informants."

"You let them come to your flat?" That had taken Humphries aback.

"It's safer meeting them there than in public half the time. I know the escape routes, and they can't have their mates waiting round the back to collar me. And besides, you treat these guys decently, give them a cup of tea, a meal, just act like you think they're human beings, not the scum of the earth, and they'll give you stuff you'd never get otherwise."

"I see," said Humphreys. "So, if you'd care to look at these photos, can you confirm that these are simply your professional contacts?"

"Let me see. And yeah, I know, a lot of them do look like thugs, because that's what they are. But most of them are really pretty damn harmless." There were a certain percentage who weren't even much cop as informers, they'd just attached themselves to Lestrade, as someone who might conceivably give a shit if they lived or died. How had he ended up as agony uncle to a slice of Peckham's lowlife?

"Anyhow," he said, as he worked his way through the pile, "these are pictures of blokes coming to my door. It's not illegal to have visitors at night, it's not even that bloody antisocial."

"Mrs Meadows says it's disturbing her."

"Yeah, well she's obviously . . . disturbed."

Humphries produced another envelope.

"There are a few where you are seen holding the man concerned," she commented.

"2011, not illegal to do that. Let's see." He flicked through the next few photos. "Ronnie Smith can't walk straight when he's pissed, which is half the time. And Asif Kirmani was pretty out of it as well that night. I had to let him sleep off whatever he'd been taking in the bath before I could get any coherent information out of him. Oh, and the big black bloke in the dress-"

"Yes?"

"That's Henry Odinga, he was acting as a decoy for us in Peckham Rye Park. Brave sod, Henry. He broke a heel and twisted his ankle that evening, least I could do was put him up for the night."

"There's one final...encounter," said Humphries, looking slightly uncomfortable now. Lestrade looked down. Much worse quality shot, you couldn't tell that the two men in the picture were soaking wet. You could, however, make out that the tall, dark, thin man had his arm round Lestrade, and that Lestrade had his hand on the other man's arse. Oh, shit. And then the next one...

He had been necking Sherlock outside his own flat. And there was one of him gazing up at Sherlock like he was some infatuated schoolboy. What the fuck had he been thinking that night? Well, obviously, not a lot by that point. They'd already had sex in an alleyway, got soaked to the skin by a thunderstorm in the process, and were now proceeding back to Lestrade's flat ostensibly to dry out, but in fact to carry on the mayhem. Must have been the icing on Mrs Meadow's cake when she spotted that one. Made everything else look retrospectively dodgy.

No, that was wrong, wasn't it? Sequence wrong. This was back last spring, and it had been shot with a different camera, not nearly such a high spec one, he reckoned. So...

"So this is the first...incident, isn't it?" he said. "Which, yes, is what it looks like, me making out. So Mrs Meadows took offence at that, the old bigot, and has been trying to demonstrate ever since that I'm a sex-crazed poof?"

"The man in these pictures is not one of your informants, then?" says Humphries.

"No, that's-" Lestrade came to an abrupt halt. The picture quality was sufficiently poor that you might not recognise Sherlock if you didn't know him well. "A bloke I know, friendly with. Got a bit too friendly that night, but that's hardly a hanging offence, is it? Look, the whole thing is obviously ridiculous, isn't it? Nothing substantial, just one old woman who doesn't like me, and doesn't like gays. So why is anyone bothering with this?"

"I'm afraid that the allegation got red-flagged as soon as it was made," Humphries said. "I know it's ridiculous, and it will be dismissed. But the Met daren't let even a stupid allegation about a senior officer go without it being properly investigated. They're too concerned someone's going to scream that there's been a cover-up."

"There is nothing here! One stupid bloody encounter, and then a lot of speculation."

"I promise, sir, it will be dealt with speedily and discreetly. We'll check what you say about the informers, confirm the man in drag is a decoy, and all that's left is a one-off bit of fooling around with your friend. I know it's embarrassing, but you're out to your super and your team already, aren't you? And no-one higher up is going to worry about that sort of photo now."

"So other people are going to see these photos?"

"As I'd said, it'll be very discreet, no-one outside the investigation and your immediate superior will see anything. We do know how to keep these matters under wraps, sir."

From ordinary people, maybe, thought Lestrade. I just happen to be married to a bloke who finds out everything about everyone, but has somehow managed to miss this so far. Who could recognise Sherlock in the dark a mile away, never mind in a slightly crappy photo. Who is really not going to be happy about this...

***

Lestrade had tried, ever since that night in April, to figure out why he'd done something as stupid as sleep with Sherlock. Other than the fact that he'd been wanting to do it for five years, and it had seemed a shame not to cross it off his to-do list. Because Sherlock had been in his face – no, actually breathing down his neck, and practically shoving himself into Lestrade's arse, and there had been Eighties music on, and everything had been hot and tense and unreal that night. And if Sherlock had decided to get seriously randy at last, why shouldn't Lestrade get the benefit rather than John Watson?

It was odd that he liked John, when it had been obvious from so early on that Sherlock was falling for him. He remembered how Sherlock had turned to John on the night of the drugs bust, and asked if he'd said something wrong about the Pink Lady's daughter. And then, a few hours later, told Lestrade that the cabbie's killer was a 'man of strong moral principles', without a hint of the normal sneer in his voice at a phrase like that. Somehow John Watson had started to do something to Sherlock, found a crack in the marble hardness of his personality. Lestrade had sensed that, probably even before Sherlock had. Something was happening that might make Sherlock, if not a good man, at least a better one.

He'd known Sherlock was in love with John – or whatever passed for love with Sherlock - and yet he'd let him come onto him the night of the stakeout. Sherlock had taken his years of teasing Lestrade one step further then, and they'd ended up having sex. In the one small part of his brain that hadn't been concentrating on Sherlock's pale, pale skin, and his wickedly clever tongue, and his long sensitive cock, Lestrade had let himself have hopes. Maybe Sherlock was looking for some kind of closeness to people now, and once they'd slept together, he'd know that part of what he wanted was Lestrade. In his bed, if not his heart.

He'd spent five years imagining that if he could just shag Sherlock senseless it would magically change everything between them. Pretty well managed the shagging senseless, in fact, on the night of the thunderstorm, because Sherlock might be younger, but Lestrade knew more dirty tricks in the bedroom. And then he'd woken up in his flat the next morning to find nothing left of Sherlock but a note saying: Thanks for the data. SH. Well, OK, that did pretty much change things, he supposed. It showed him once and for all that he'd wasted those years, that not even Sherlock's gorgeous body could make up enough for the shitty personality. He wished he could have worked that out a long time ago, but he supposed he was a slow learner.

He could tell Mycroft honestly that he had Sherlock out of his system. That, yes, he had slept with him, but that was before he'd got involved with Mycroft. No use talking about the potency of Eighties music (he suspected Mycroft had spent the whole of the Eighties turned to Radio 3), but he could say: I made a mistake, I thought I wanted him, and I found I didn't. People, ordinary people, make mistakes like that. Sleep with people they shouldn't do, think something will work out, find it doesn't. And then he could look Mycroft in the eye and tell him the honest to God truth: It's you I love, and not him. I don't care about bloody Sherlock, it's you I want to be with.

***

But when the car had come that evening, and Anthea had taken him to Mycroft's office – his office, for Christ's sake - it hadn't worked like that. From the moment Mycroft had opened his mouth and said, in his snootiest voice: "There's something I think we need to discuss, Gregory", Lestrade’s hackles had gone up, and it had all rapidly gone downhill.

"My attention has been brought," Mycroft went on, like he was a sodding headmaster, "to certain photos of you and Sherlock." He had a pen in his hand and a manila file in front of him, and for one horrendous moment Lestrade thought he was going to produce the photos and start pointing out identifying details.

"Me with Sherlock outside my flat, last year. Yeah, seen them myself. And yes, it is what it looks like. We were going back to my place for a shag." No point in playing silly buggers here, pretending not to know what this was about. Get it out in the open, he thought, deal with it.

"You thought he was able to cope with the rigours of Peckham, did you?" said Mycroft coldly.

"What the...it doesn't matter where it was. It was a once-off, it was before I  got involved with you, it is ended. Over and done with."

"Oh, yes," Mycroft said, his knuckles whitening as he fiddled with his pen. "I'm quite sure it's over, that Sherlock ended it when he became...involved with John. The question is whether you wanted it to end?"

Sod it, thought Lestrade, as it suddenly slid into focus. That was why Sherlock had done it, wasn't it? He'd been trying to get somewhere with John, and he'd decided to practice on Lestrade, or make John jealous, something sneaky like that, hadn't he? Not so much a quiet storm, as a perfect storm.

"I didn't want to take it any further either," he protested. "Because it wasn't going anywhere, and I finally realised that." Shit, he thought, really not the right thing to say. "Look, if there had been anything serious happening, don't you think you'd have it on your bloody files already?"

"There was a suggestion made by some of my subordinates that you were interested in Sherlock. I had presumed that they were wrong." Mycroft's voice was stiff and precise, but Lestrade found himself wondering if you could actually snap a pen with your bare hands. Or stab someone with one.

"What do you want me to say?" he demanded. "Yes, I fancied Sherlock, slept with him. And it was a fucking stupid mistake, and I'm sorry."

"There's no need to apologise," said Mycroft. "Your  behaviour is entirely understandable. It's just that under the circumstances, I need to re-evaluate my own position."

That was when he'd lost it, Lestrade realised afterwards, as he walked towards the bus stop. Because there was no point in yelling "It's you I want to be with" if you followed it up with "you pompous prat". Though it probably wouldn't have mattered what he'd said, come to think of it. Mycroft wouldn't have listened anyhow. He'd seen it sometimes in his own team, when they'd been on a case. You knew what had happened, that someone was guilty, and it didn't matter if the evidence fitted or not. But how the fuck could a brilliant man like Mycroft be so stupid?

Obvious answer – because he was a Holmes. Thirty-plus years of sibling rivalry were all somehow getting screwed up into this concentrated lump of Mycroft's misery. Tearing up the relationship from some misguided belief that he was just a consolation prize for Lestrade. Why the fuck had he got involved with such an oversensitive idiot? Sherlock might be an idiot, but at least you could hardly call him oversensitive...Oh, fuck. He was not going there. He was going home, he was going to have a shower, try and unwind, then work out what to do next.

Except when he thought 'home', he realised, what he actually meant, what he wanted, was his own flat in Peckham, not Mycroft's house a few miles, and a social divide away in Dulwich. Mycroft's place was far nicer, but it was still Mycroft's, even if half of Lestrade's stuff was now there. He still went back to his old flat most weeks at some point, pick up the post, see what was going on. He'd just stay there the night this time, that was all. While he got his head together. Get back to where he belonged, sort himself out.

Of course when he got home, he found that the day's street music wasn't Skream, or whatever his name was, but Kylie, her voice echoing from an open window nearby:

All the lovers, that have gone before,

They don't compare to you

 

Bet you Mozart didn't put it that neatly, Lestrade thought. Maybe if he had, it might have taught sodding Mycroft something. OK, get in, have a beer, then a shower, because it had been a long, tough, bloody awful day.


 

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
fengirl88
Apr. 29th, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)
oh yes! I love what you're doing here - all the details about the differences between them (Lestrade joining the circus (hello RG), Mycroft and David; Mycroft tuned to Radio 3 for the whole of the Eighties...), and of course Sherlock would leave that note after getting what he came for. (I tried to write a fic where he attempts with mixed success to use Lestrade for this purpose but I couldn't make it work.)

looking forward very much to the rest of this.

Edited at 2011-04-29 10:54 am (UTC)
2ndskin
Apr. 29th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
Yay! More of your fantastic Lestrade voice. It is just so damn good! Even though I know where this is going, I can't wait for the rest of the chapters. Such a nice balance--I am completely in Lestrade's corner here, but you've let us have sympathy for Mycroft too. Not so much for the gorgeous man with the shitty personality collecting data, however! So well done!
kalypso_v
Apr. 29th, 2011 12:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the data. SH.
Well, OK, that did pretty much change things.


Particularly like this sequence...

Edited at 2011-04-29 12:24 pm (UTC)
2ndskin
Apr. 29th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
btw, in parts or when complete, you should post to dilestrade and brother_mine comms, although I guess for this one, it's 90 percent lestrade.
lucybun
May. 1st, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Gorgeous. I love the way you make these two so real. Their flaws and their mistakes are what make them beautiful. And your back-story for each of them is so detailed and rich. Can't wait for more!
maigrey_star
May. 6th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
The sequel to David!!! I was desperately waiting for this one and of course I wasn't disappointed, wonderful first chapter!

God, those two have issues I love it ♥

Please post more if you want to post every chapter at once I won't complain ;)
weefreethings
May. 18th, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
That note from Sherlock is pretty unpleasant but sadly believable! Lucky for Sherlock John never saw it! Poor Lestrade!
nathcoelho
May. 18th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
omg! poor Lestrade! what he was dreading, actually happened!!
poor him!
and mycroft too, because he is jealous! =X
*going to the next part*
katead
May. 30th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Ooh love this :D
mei_yanohi
Jun. 7th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
All the lovers, that have gone before,
They don't compare to you.


I just want to tell you that just the lyrics from this song hit me with so much emotion that I immediately had to go watch the music video (multiple times), and consequently spent the better part of my day on a Kylie-video spree. "All the Lovers" gets me every damn time!

I can't tell you how much I love the image of Greg living through the 80s surrounded by gay culture and the reality of all the ugliness and desperation, and simultaneously the deep feeling of connection it bred between those of us who lived through that time (I was born in the mid-80s but I know some of those who experienced it and have read various accounts).

Anyway, onto the next part...
marysutherland
Jun. 10th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed this, even if it distracted you into the timesink that is Youtube. Although I'm old enough to remember the 80s (as my taste in music shows), I didn't know anything about gay culture at the time. So I've learnt a lot from reading other people's fictions/fanfics, especially Fengirl's Maurice fics, and have tried to incorporate some of the ideas in my own stories.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )